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Remembering Chino: Grieving the Loss of a Pet

Remembering Chino: Grieving the Loss of a Pet

This post is sponsored by Bitu's Pet Cremation Services
Losing a beloved pet is one of the hardest experiences you ever have to go through as a dog mom. Your dog is your family, and you spend years loving, caring for, and making memories with them. It’s hard to imagine your life without them.
Last September, my dog, Chino, passed away. He was — and still is — my soul dog and the biggest inspiration behind Toronto Dog Moms. Losing him was incredibly hard, and I’m still grieving the loss of his beautiful soul every day.
I wanted to take a moment to honour Chino, as well as offer a few ways to help you navigate a similar period of grief.

1. Acknowledge the Pain

We share an intense bond with our dogs. When we have to say goodbye, the overwhelming pain and grief we feel is just as real as when any family member passes away.
The first step on your grief journey is to acknowledge and validate any emotions that you feel. It’s okay to be sad or angry, but never let yourself feel ashamed or guilty for mourning the loss of your beloved dog.

2.   Share Your Feelings

During such a difficult time, having a support system to reach out to is important. Whether that’s your friends, family, or even online pet communities like the beautiful one we’ve created together, find a few people that you can share your feelings with.
Talking about your pet with others helps to keep their memory alive, and sharing your feelings can also be a huge comfort while you’re mourning.

3.   Honour Your Pet’s Memory

Memorializing your pet can be a beautiful way to celebrate their life and to share it with others.
 Many people choose to make a physical memento that they can keep or display for years to come. You could consider making a scrapbook of your favourite memories with your dog, framing their photos, or planting a tree or flowers in their memory.
Some pet parents also find solace in writing letters to their departed pets or holding a small ceremony in their pet’s honour to say goodbye formally. This could be a simple event, like lighting a candle or sharing stories about your pet with loved ones.
These acts of remembrance can offer a sense of closure and celebrate the love and bond you shared.

4.   Be Gentle with Yourself

Grief is not linear, and there is no right or wrong way to mourn the loss of a pet. You don’t need to adhere to someone else’s timeline. Allow yourself to take things at your own pace and grieve in whatever ways feel right to you.
 If you need to spend time alone to process your feelings, do it. If you find comfort in spending time with loved ones, reach out to them. Just be gentle with yourself and recognize that it’s going to take time.

Plan & make arrangements in advance:

Loosing a pet is painful and sometimes that pain lasts forever. However, pre-planning can help reduce this pain and help with the overall healing process. Healing doesn’t begin unless there is a closure and closure isn’t possible if you are left wondering what happened after your pet has been handed off to a veterinary office or hospital.
Bitu’s Pet Cremation Services was born as a tribute to a beloved dog as well. They offer private services that provide compassionate and one on one aftercare.  You can choose from a  blessing ceremony, a small prayer, a celebration of life or a quiet, private goodbye.  Located in the GTA and available 24/7 during difficult times, they offer private witnessed cremation services and other end of life services for your pet including transportation. Offering dedicated fully private or semi-private (individual) cremation services, so that you have peace of mind and are able to spend quality time with your pet in their final moments. It is a difficult topic to discuss however having a plan in place for your pet is of utmost importance so that you’ve made the best decision during a time of stress. You can check out Bitu’s Pet Cremation Services at

Honouring Chino’s Memory

Losing Chino has been one of the most difficult things I’ve ever experienced, but I’ve been able to navigate my grief because of the amazing support of this community. Through you, and through this incredible space of joy we’ve created, Chino’s memory is able to live on, and for that I’m incredibly grateful. Hosting a fundraiser to help raise funds for others who are experiencing canine cancer with their dogs, to claiming his birthday (September 6) as Toronto Dog Moms Day to forever celebrate him and this community he inspired. I want to continue to keep his memory alive and have him as the driving force behind everything that I do.
If you’ve experienced the loss of a pet, remember that grief is a natural response to love. It will take time, patience, and grace to navigate, but you’ll carry the memories and love you have for your pet in your heart always.

Grief Resources


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